Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to complete a formal application?

By completing the online registration, which is necessary to make payment, you will have completed the official application process.

Is there a refund if I cancel?

Students who cancel their registration before June 1 will receive a 50% refund of tuition paid; those who cancel before July 1 will receive a 25% refund of tuition paid. Cancellations made July 1 or thereafter are non-refundable.

Are scholarships available?

Thanks to generous support from the Germanacos Foundation, we will be able to provide scholarships for the summer program. For more information, please contact the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice Assistant Director, Oren Kroll-Zeldin -

Is housing available on campus for Arabic San Francisco and Hebrew San Francisco: Ulpan students?

There is limited housing available on campus. For information on housing opportunities, please contact the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice Assistant Director, Oren Kroll-Zeldin -​ Note that we will be unable to fulfill housing requests made after May 15.​

Is there an age requirement?

Most students range in age from 20 through 75+, but there is no age requirement. On occasion we have had middle school students. If the student applicant is a minor, please contact the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice Assistant Director, Oren Kroll-Zeldin -​ In most cases we can make the appropriate accommodations.

Is there a placement exam?

All students, except those with no prior knowledge of Arabic or Hebrew, will be given a placement exam. We will call students prior to the program start to determine placement.

Program Details

What is the program’s history?

Hebrew San Francisco: Ulpan was founded by Professor Andrew Heinze in 1998 under the name Ulpan San Francisco. It is the longest, continuously run intensive Hebrew language program in the United States. The Arabic San Francisco program was started in Summer 2020.

Who are the faculty?

Is the focus on Modern or Biblical Hebrew?

We teach Modern Hebrew.

Biblical and Modern Hebrew are different. Though learning Modern Hebrew can assist someone with Biblical Hebrew, overall these are two different forms of Hebrew that should be studied separately.

Is the focus on Modern Standard or Spoken Arabic?

We teach the Levantine dialect of Spoken Arabic, however students in Level I will spend the first part of the program learning to read and write in Arabic.

What are the areas of study?

Our focus is on speaking, reading, and writing in that order.

Do students receive academic credit?

A certificate of completion is awarded. Currently, no university credit is given.

However, in exceptional situations, we are able to offer the option of taking the course for university credit. For more information, please contact the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice Assistant Director, Oren Kroll-Zeldin -​

What is the certificate and how is it different from academic credit?

Students who complete either the Arabic or Hebrew program receive an official USF certificate with their name, the name of our summer program, the number of hours of Arabic or Hebrew language that were completed, and the level of Arabic or Hebrew language that was completed.


Where are classes held?

We are located on USF's main campus. Registered students will be notified of the exact on-campus location prior to beginning the program.

What is a typical daily schedule?

Class is typically held from 9-10:30 a.m. followed by a 15-minute break; class from 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. followed by a 45-minute lunch break; and class again from 1-2 p.m.

Do I need to bring anything to class?

Yes. Students are responsible for bringing a notebook and something to write with to each class.

Do I need to bring a lunch?

Not necessarily. During the summer, most of USF’s dining halls are closed. However, the main dining hall on Main Campus is opened during regular business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m.). There are a number of food options at this dining hall including vegetarian meals.

In terms of kashrut (keeping kosher), the dining hall is not a certified kosher establishment. Students who have strict dietary needs should plan on bringing their own lunches to school.

Will restrooms and water fountains be available?

Of course. There will be restrooms and water fountains available near our classrooms.

Contact Info

Office of Swig Program in Jewish Studies & Social Justice

Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Kalmanovitz Hall, Room 152 (415) 422-6601 (415) 422-5356